The Computational Creativity Market

Adroit Market Research has published a research report regarding the computational creativity market. Basically, this market uses computers to mimic, analyze, provoke, and/or bolster human creativity.

The report references 25 entities as “prominent players” in the global market:

  • IBM
  • Google
  • Microsoft
  • Adobe Amazon Web Services
  • Autodesk
  • Jukedeck
  • HUMTAP
  • Amper Music
  • ScriptBook (Belgium)
  • B12
  • The Grid
  • Canva
  • Hello Games
  • IntegraPay
  • Lumen5
  • Skylum
  • Logojoy
  • Runway
  • Avia (Luxembourg)
  • Prisma Labs
  • Object AI (Hong Kong)
  • Firedrop
  • Obvious (France)
  • Automated Creative
  • Cyanapse

Get Ready for Smart Car Wallets

Jaguar is developing a smart car wallet.

The project intends to combine blockchain and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies that will allow vehicles to complete micro-transactions without human intervention. With cars increasingly coming in IoT contact with each other as well as their surroundings; the possibilities for brand storytelling could be vast:

  • A vehicle charges a small fee for automatically transferring the podcast or song you’re enjoying on your smartphone to the vehicle’s speakers for better sound and/or video quality. In fact, this scenario could work perfectly for story experiences designed for smart car interaction. Great race, anyone?
  • A car purchases drone home delivery service so you can try a product you saw advertised during your trip. The drone’s destination could even be the vehicle itself. Not only could product and service providers empower vehicles to react to audience behavior, they could even incite a story by, for instance, sending a potential customer a much needed product for free.
  • Based on audience brand identity or brand profile, a vehicle automatically refunds current and/or previous customers for product overpayments, depending on competitor appetite for absorbing such costs. Product expenses range from parking fees to fuel costs to donation payments (for, say, an artist you enjoyed along the way, and the vehicle makes an automatic donation when you consume the entire product–or in other words, “finish the video”).

These technologies could allow service providers to create powerful, in-the-moment, and even ad hoc brand narratives. The general idea would be to use the vehicle’s smart technology to broadcast and/or display brand storytelling and complete as-you-go micro-transactions based on audience interest.

What are some others ways smart wallets could support storytelling efforts?

The Rise of Simulation Technology

I just read a list of current or upcoming uses of simulation technology, namely virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).

One use applies the technology toward educational pursuits. The list is endless: virtual surgeries, rehearsed or real-time actual; electrical grounding training, mock or hypothetical; train-the-trainer courses, mandated or developed; etc. These ideas give whole new dimensions to elearning content and platforms.

Another use applies virtual reality to exploration efforts. Wanna track what happens to that piece of plastic you just discarded? You got it. Need to relive a past experience in your childhood neighborhood the way it looked back then? No problem! Such ideas also push the boundaries of what entertainment businesses can and should do when it comes to brand promotion, social change, and fiction storytelling.

The best use by far revolves around giving audiences realistic, unique experiences for places, products, and stories. In fact, the more powerful experiences will combines all three. I’d love to see a story about a new smart vehicle purchaser test driving the latest driverless model by living an hour in the life of using that product and all its features and benefits–all in the form of an adventure. The prospective customer may not use the vehicle quite that way in the future, or even make a purchase, but the power of the experience will inspire them to remember and share the experience (which is, of course, more important).

What other forms of uses for VR do you see coming in the near future?

Collaborate with Snapchat AR Influencers

I just read that Snapchat plans to commit $750,000 to augmented reality (AR) influencers. This eye-popping payload presents a number of opportunities for storytellers to support their effort.

For example, there’s an opportunity to cash in on getting really good at making AR stories. This isn’t as obvious as it sounds. Depending on the story medium (e.g., novels, films, audiobooks, stage play, etc.), creating a story comes with its own unique elements…and peculiar constraints. The same goes for AR stories. They take on an interactive quality that comes to life for audiences–in some cases, based on their personal choices. Want a different fantasy sports player? Bench one for another. Don’t like that shade of lipstick? Switch it up. Depending on the platform, the possibilities for personalized story experience could be endless.

I also hear complaints from directors and animated showrunners about how they need more storyboard artists. A storyboard allows you to visually arrange components of your story and link them together. Unless you’re an exceptional dimensional thinker–or you’ve made a half dozen or so films–chances are you’ll want to know how to storyboard for an AR story or know someone who does.

Basically, Snapchat’s intention sounds great not just for AR influencers but also for writers, video editors, cinematographers, and even voice actors who ally with them. The writers who can’t draw can draft prose storyboards instead; and the actors can inspire the art folks who can visually frame shots on the fly.

Think this kind of collaboration will work?

A Future of Gaming with Blockchain

I just read more on the potential of blockchain use in gaming.

(Blockchain is the technology that powers crytopcurrencies like Bitcoin.)

Since enough gamers currently are spending enough money on average to play games–even free games like Fortnite–startup and development companies are pursuing a horizon market demand for cryptocurrency and game-item exchange. Rather than spending money (i.e., United States dollars) for, say, quality game gear; gamers would use cryptocurrency instead.

With that sort of technology in gamers’ hands, they could buy anything. Many of today’s games allow players to buy cosmetics, quality item ingredients, in-game currency (i.e., “gold”), human player services, gaming bots, etc.

But tomorrow’s gamers could be buying game items not intended for the original game’s universe. More powerful, gamers could be purchasing entire game elements. For example, in theory it would be possible to make a blockchain transaction that trades cryptocurrency for micro or even macro story worlds, any of the characters in those worlds, and even complete storylines themselves. Sure game developers could monitor and control such behavior; but some games may choose encourage player-to-developer and/or player-to-player transactions by design, to infinitely kaleidoscope effect. On the game-play level, it would’ve been kinda cool to play as Kratos from “God of War” in, say, the Diablo universe (Blizzard) or even in a Fortnight instance.

How might the technology allow traditional storytelling (one protagonist in one world in one storyline) to change or expand in order to accommodate this more democratized way of living a story through the experience of a character during interactive gameplay?

Let AI Do Your Script “Analysis”…or Not

Scriptbook has created an artificial intelligence (AI) system that can do script analysis.

The biggest advantage of the technology, on its face, seems to be its ability to predict how well the project may do at a box office, based on legacy data. The biggest, more important disadvantage remains its inability to predict a project’s perceived value over time.

Of course, the marketability of a script remains important. But the way a production is marketed can influence box office results despite a script’s metrics (e.g., number, length, and/or gender type of dialogues; screen time per character, etc.).

I’d prefer an AI system that helps writers conceive the script in the first place. For example, a great help would be script analysis that pings an already produced idea or scene–or even one that’s currently in production. With the democratization of filmmaking, who can (or would dare) claim to have consumed every piece of content for a particular genre (i.e., Romance)?

What’d also be nice is an AI product that helps writers develop a script. What combination of ideas do audiences want to see, say, based on search engine analysis? What kind of events should a writer consider or eschew?

Now I know what you’re thinking: “Just who’s writing this thing anyway–me or it?” The time may have long since come to rethink what it means to “write” a screenplay…much the way producers have had to rethink what it means to produce a project; actors, what it means to portray a character via computer-generated imagery (CGI).

We All Want Science Fantasy

The technology of hardware will continue to evolve toward devices that do not resemble their function or purpose.

Children will play with toys that, unbeknownst to them, use sensors to rate levels of contamination and then sanitize their hands and faces as appropriate. Mobile devices will overlay real-time virtual patterns onto real-world fields of view to anticipate everything from danger to directions.

Sometimes, it seems like humanity wants to use science to move the world ever closer to one that resembles a sort of science fantasy:  using computers to manipulate virtual realities in mid air, wearing invisible second skins as a personal force field to traverse inhospitable terrains, etc.

I can only imagine the kinds of stories the people in that future will tell!

Smell, Taste and Touch It Too

Why aren’t audiences able to use more of their senses when viewing a film? Sure, spectacle is great and hearing music is amazing; but what about smell? Why can’t we smell the action as it’s happening? Some of my most emotional memories activate upon smelling something. And what about taste? Since there’s so much advertising going on in films now anyway, why not give people the option to sample a product we see in a film right there in the theater? This approach to merchandising could make movie theaters relevant in a whole other way!

I remember the first time I saw a film in Alamo Drafthouse Cinema (ADC) in Austin, Texas. I didn’t think I’d like it at all—until I had my first chai milkshake there. Insanely good!

I wonder what the ADC Team (http://drafthouse.com/about/key_players/) would say to exploring more 2D-meets-3D options like these. Some day, I might even try sneaking into a script the requirement that all audience members be given an item similar to what they see an actor discover for the first time on screen.

The Future of Storytelling

Technology continues to change our sense of the present. In so doing, technology also changes our stories and therefore storytelling. For example, the evolution of communication technology will make it increasingly difficult for people to be able to pause and reflect.

Last night, I was listening to my neighbor try to learn by ear on his keyboard the theme from HBO’s The Newsroom. I paused and reflected. Hearing his trial-and-error approach inspired within me all manner of memories of the show and my life and my way of hearing things. Then, “doo Doo DOO.” A text message notification from my phone completely disrupted my experience of the now.

Humankind is on course to lose our shared affinity for the concept of “personal present” and gain a shared concept of “personal present within the context of the digital present,” the more we allow technology to impose a new sense of time on us. It’s not a good or bad thing—merely a circumstance that will soon lead to an event of new self-identification for human beings.

What kinds of stories will storytellers relate in such a world? How and why will we tell them? And what will be the value of such tales?

Abha Dawesar provided me with some clues in her TED Talk:  “Life in the ‘digital now'” at http://www.ted.com/talks/abha_dawesar_life_in_the_digital_now.html.